This one is a dog story with a difference and concerns my forthcoming trip to Thailand which is less than three weeks away. When I get there I’m facing a dilemma of dog sized proportions.
Tong is Wonderful Wi’s older brother and he lives in a village just outside Udon Thani city with his wife Maew (Cat) and their two boys Fook and Tee. Tong is a carpenter and a very good one as well. Tong’s work is of a high quality, he takes great pride in his finished work. Unfortunately Tong’s work pace is painstakingly slow. If he had won the contract to have built Noah’s Ark then we’d all be vegetarians now.
Wilai’s brother fitted all the wood furnishings in our village house, from the simplest of things to smart kitchen units, wardrobes and a showcase which now holds many different bottles of alcoholic drinks. That’s my favourite chunk of wood and nails. The photo below shows the standard of some of his work.
I’ve visited Tong’s family home on many occasions and the thing which always amazes me about their house is the general condition of it considering the master’s craftsmanship. Doors kind of close and the wooden window shutters creak shut and have to be forcibly opened. The carpenter’s home has made me wonder at times if there is a fishing trawler somewhere fighting high seas and heavy gales, with a captain on board who can’t swim a yard.
Wilai has four dogs and when Tong and his family visit our village home one dog in particular always gets special attention from Tong. Wilai’s brother took a fond liking to Gaan, who you can see pictured below eyeing up our pet rabbit who died under mysterious circumstances last year. The mystery was that the last time he was seen alive he was being chased hell for leather around our garden in a game of chase by Gaan and another of our dogs Cola. Gaan always took the ‘game’ a little too serious for my liking. Anyway minutes later Wilai discovered the rabbit dead at the back of the house, and the two dogs had disappeared into hiding. Some mystery.
Last week I telephoned Wi and had the following conversation.
“Hus…band I go look your diary (blog) and click click everything. Soon money come bank you.”
Sorry I think I may have pasted the wrong bit in there. Let’s try again.
“Wilai how is Gaan”
“Gaan not stay how (house) any more. I give Gaan to brudder (brother)”
“What do you mean you give Gaan to your brother”
“Brudder want Gaan and mama want me give. What can I do. When husband come you can speak Gaan come home .”
So Gaan has gone to stay in Udon and I know Wilai is very upset about it. She wasn’t pressured into giving giving Gaan away but her mama and brother’s wishes won the day. I really am struggling to understand the make up of it all, and it appears it’s now down to me to order Gaan comes back home. That has given me a dilemma of dog sized proportions awaiting me on arrival in Thailand later this month.
I only total about 30 days in our village each year but I do enjoy spending time with our dogs when I am there. I want Gaan to return home because he’s a great dog and also because I know he won’t receive the same standard of care where he is now. I’ve no doubt he’ll get plenty of love and exercise but if he ever needs to see a vet the money won’t be there. I also have to weigh up the Thai cultural side of it all.
To just go in and take Gaan back may send out the wrong kind of message to Tong and his family. The rich Westerner gets what he wants kind of thing. Tong is a nice man who I get along with really well and I don’t want to go about this in a tactless way. I think I just may be treading on areas of Thai life which read respect, family and face.
My gut feeling says Gaan has to return to Wilai, I know she wants that to happen. Its just the way I need to go about it which concerns me most. Maybe I can offer to buy Tong a puppy dog to replace young Gaan.
I don’t want to make a dogs dinner of this one and so any advice you can offer I’ll welcome on board. Thanks.
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